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Involvement of British Columbia community pharmacists in health promotion Paluck, Elan Carla Marie

Abstract

Community pharmacists are faced with many opportunities to participate in health promotion. The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which community pharmacists in British Columbia are involved in health promotion activities, and which external factors, if any, affect this level of involvement. A causal model was developed which proposed that independent pharmacist and practice variables would influence pharmacists' involvement in health promotion activities. A five- page mail questionnaire was distributed to a systematic stratified sample of 625 practising community pharmacists in British Columbia. A five-point Likert-type scale was used to examine the frequencies of pharmacist involvement in 33 different health promotion activities. Three different follow-up procedures were used to attain a final response rate of 83.6%. Results of the study show that pharmacists most frequently participate in activities that are related directly to the dispensing or selling of medications. These events include advising clients on over-the-counter medications, querying clients on possible allergies, obtaining medical histories, querying clients on current medications, and suggesting non-drug alternatives to drug therapy for minor ailments. The activities that displayed the lowest participation amongst pharmacists included speaking to community groups on health related matters, participating in disease screening programs, querying clients on their level of occupational stress, counselling clients on AIDS prevention, and querying clients on their smoking status. Variables that were found to influence a pharmacist's level of participation in health promotion were a pharmacist's employment status (full-time or part-time), marital status, type of practice, geographic location of the practice, pharmacist's personal health beliefs and behaviours, and the socioeconomic status of the clientele predominantly served.

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